A pretty little Delft clock by Forestville

Purchased earlier this year (2017) I thought it would make the perfect cottage clock. A relative attended an estate auction in Ottawa while I simultaneously bid online in Nova Scotia for the clock. She brought it to her home and it was months later before I actually got to see it. But for one low resolution auction photo, it was bought unseen and as-is.

Delft style clock, auction photo
Delft style clock, auction photo

It is a Delft style, triangle shaped front-wind 8-day time-only porcelain clock with a lever escapement similar to those found in marine/alarm clock movements. It is marked Forestville. While Forestville is a Canadian company the clock is not Canadian made. The Forestville Clock Company is often confused with clocks made in Forestville, Connecticut. According to the following historical information they are not the same.

The Forestville Clock Company of Toronto began its life as the Blackforest Clock Co. of Toronto headed by its founders, Leopold and Sara Stossel in 1928. Both movements and complete clocks were imported from Germany and sold through department and jewelry stores across Canada. Their son, Ed Stossel started working part-time with his parents company in the 1930s and later became a full time employee in the 1940s.

Some assembly work was carried out in their Wellington Street factory but most clocks were imported fully assembled. At first, imported mantel and grandfather clock movements were installed in cases made in Kitchener, Ontario but later complete mantel clocks were imported from Germany. This arrangement was interrupted by the Second World War which also led to a change of the company name to Forestville Clock Company in 1941. During the war years the company imported their movements from England, the United States and even France. Starting in the early 1950s German companies resumed production with Mauthe being a major supplier.

Clocks with a Dutch motif reflected a popular trend in the 1950s and 60s perhaps in recognition of Canada’s close relationship with the Dutch people since the war years

The Forestville Clock company was quite successful during the middle decades of the 20th century and many Canadian homes proudly displayed time-only, time and strike and chiming clocks retailed by Forestville. When Ed Stossel retired in 1979 the company survived just a few years without his guidance and leadership.

Clocks with a Dutch motif reflected a popular trend in the 1950s and 1960s perhaps in recognition of Canada’s close relationship with the Dutch people since the war years. Canadian troops liberated Holland at the end of the Second World War, the Dutch holding a particular fondness with Canadians since that time.

It is an attractive but a simple design. There is one scene on each “point” of the “squared off” triangle; a woman in traditional dress carrying water and accompanied by a child on the right, three single-mast sail boats (one large and two small ones) on the left and a Dutch windmill beside a small house on top. The violin bow styled hour and minute hand design is shared with other Forestville clocks.

Mother and child
Mother and child
Windmill and house
Windmill and house

The clock ran slowly for the first day or so. On the back of the movement is a speed regulator that one would typically find on an alarm clock, an easy method of making small adjustments.

Speed adjustment
Speed adjustment

There are no chips, cracks or blemishes on the face. It appears to be in excellent condition and runs well.

It is a welcome addition to our cottage kitchen.

2 thoughts on “A pretty little Delft clock by Forestville

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